About Daoism and Wudang Kung Fu
Wudang Kung Fu is first and foremost a physical expression of Daoist beliefs. It promotes self-defence over aggression and the cultivation of healthy bodies and minds by following the Dao, also known as the Way. The essence of Daoist belief can be summarised as follows:
The origins of Wudang Kung Fu - the soft will overcome the hard
Zhang San Feng is the legendary creator of Wudang Kung Fu. The story of how he was inspired to create Wudang Kung Fu exemplifies the Daoist belief that just as water wears away the rock, so the soft will overcome the hard. Legend has it that after training in external Shaolin Kung Fu, Zhang San Feng saw a snake fighting a crane, and saw how the fluid, evasive movements of the snake wore the crane down until it grew tired and the snake could make its final strike. He created a superior kung fu system based on the fluid movements of the snake and so taiji quan was born.
Seeking a balance of yin and yang as opposite yet complementary forces of nature
The practice of Wudang Kung Fu seeks to regulate our balance of yin and yang. Yin is the soft, feminine and yielding force of nature, and yang is the hard, masculine and dynamic force of nature. These opposite forces are present throughout nature, (so we have yin and yang organs of the body; times of the day and so on), and are seen as complementing each other in the same way that man and woman fit together. These energies are not static; yang is constantly changing into yin and vice versa; however there is believed to be in any given situation, an optimum balance of yin and yang. By the power of the mind (intention) and physical exercise, we can transform these energies to create the best possible balance of yin and yang in our bodies and so have good health and happy lives.
Moving with the flow of events will lead all beings to fulfill their full natural potential
The way of the Dao is the way of nature, so following the Dao means following the natural rhythm and flow of events. The Daoist changes with the seasons to preserve energy (known as qi) and use it in the most effective fashion; and so we have the famous tales of Daoist long life. Moving with the flow of events and the changing balance of yin and yang in this fashion leads the individual to understand the forces at work in nature and guides the individual towards his or her true potential.